Sunday 6 May 2018

The Spirit of Normandy

Saturday I had the pleasure and honour to spend a day with some true heroes of WWII. This is an annual event and chance for the Veterans to raise some money for the Spirit of Normandy Trust, the organisation that took over many of the responsibilities of the Normandy Veterans Association when it disbanded a few years ago. These gentlemen have some amazing stories to tell. 

A Gathering of heroes. Hosted by the Eastgate Shopping Centre in Basildon this is something of an annual event and is guaranteed to raise a lot of interest and more importantly a lot of money. 

Geoff Wire - 2nd TAF, RAF

Bernard Mabey - Ground Crew 617 Squadron (the "Dambusters")

Stan Marsh - Veteran of D-Day

Don Shepherd - Royal Engineers, Juno Beach, D-Day

Some of the Veterans meeting visitors and signing memorabilia

Me with Len, another D-Day veteran and an incredibly
happy and spry fellow for someone in their 90's!

Me with Alfred Smith who was rescued in the evacuation at Dunkirk and then took part in the Invasion on D-Day. A genuinely nice fellow who received the red carpet treatment at the Premier of the recent Dunkirk movie.

Me with Don Shepherd who served with the Royal
Engineers on D-Day 

My Brother-in-Law Ray who does a lot of work with the veterans gathering their stories and putting them in print. 
Plenty of visitors throughout the day

All in all a pretty good day with a steady stream of interested visitors. Many travelled a long way to meet the Veterans but there were also many who were just out for a days shopping and instead found themselves chatting to these incredible guys. 


  1. Lee, great to see your support for this fine group of warriors. They must have many fascinating stories.

  2. What an amazing event and, as you say, a great honour to rub shoulders with such genuine heroes, a great post Lee.


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